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The Five Most Important Limbs Of Devotional Practice

Aug 10, 2008
Among the 64 limbs of devotional practices, there are five main limbs of that which can award one love of God. They are: associating with devotees, studying Srimad Bhagavatam, chanting the holy name of Sri Krishna, worshipping His form and residing in a holy place. The power of these five limbs cannot be estimated.

Srimad Bhagavatam says, "By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact."

The Srimad Bhagavatam is considered to be the cream of the Vedic literatures. After composing the Vedas, the Vedantas, the Upanisads and many other literatures, Srila Vyasadev was still not satisfied. He felt incomplete although he had spent much time revealing everything. Then his spiritual master, Srila Narada Muni came to him and advised him to write something that would glorify exclusively Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

That's when the Srimad Bhagavatam came. This literature is about the incarnations of the Lord and there is the tenth canto that is exclusively dedicated to the pastimes of Sri Krishna. As described in the verse above: loving service is obtained just by listening to the narration of this transcendental literature.

Deity worship helps establish the sambandha jnana, the relationship, with the Lord. From there one learns how to work in that relationship to please the Lord so that the goal can be reached, which is love of God.

Text 8 of the Nectar Of Instruction: "The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time - twenty-four hours a day - in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service."

Living in a holy place is very auspicious. Not everyone can find a proper holy place outside India. In this case one can make the home a holy place. By deity worship and by making everything centered on the deity in the house, the residence becomes a holy place.

Associating with devotees: Unless one associates with those of the same mind frame or with those more advanced than him, he cannot make advancement in spiritual life. The scriptures emphasize so much on this principle. Association is what nourishes the bhakti of the aspirant. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita 10.9, "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me."

And the most important of all, the essence is chanting Hare Krishna. Lord Chaitanya appeared on this earth to inaugurate the chanting of the Holy Name and through this chanting He distributed love of God indiscriminately to everyone. There are millions of verses from scriptures emphasizing the importance of the Holy Name.

Srila Rupa Goswami says in Nectar Of Instruction, text 8, "The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time - twenty-four hours a day - in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind" and in text 7 he says, "The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Krishna are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidya [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root."

Therefore we should all endeavor to follow these five main principles very strictly to achieve the goal, love of God.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books. You can find the best marketplace for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and Hare Krishna books at these sites for Krishna art, religious gifts from India, and limbs of devotional service books.
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